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Tropical peripatus


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I know some NZ species that need it cool are available in the UK. Anyone know of a chance of getting some into the US?

They are pretty small but they're neat. The way they grab their prey is interesting. Somebody sent me a pair a decade ago and I set them up in a critter keeper. It wasn't a good idea. They probably dried up an hour after the inevitable.

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I apologize for my ignorance, as I joined the forum in the beginning to help out via the Admin's requests, so I haven't been perusing this forum as much as the other mantid forum(s), but what the hell is that?

I believe it is also known as "velvet worm". It is a VERY unique creature... one of Gods own experiments I think.


"species that deposit sperm on the skin of a female, the skin tissue collapses where the sperm are deposited and the sperm migrate into the female's body, where they penetrate the ovaries to fertilise the eggs. "

"Some species lay large yolk-filled eggs, while others retain yolky eggs within the female until they are ready to hatch. Some other species (though none of the Australian species) have small eggs without a yolky food source, and the developing young obtain nourishment from their mother's body in a manner similar to placental mammals. In all cases, the young are fully developed when born, and, apart from lacking complete pigmentation, look like miniature adults. "

"Velvet worms breathe through little holes called 'trachea' that are scattered over the body. These pores are permanently open, so water from the body can easily be lost. The porous nature of their cuticle means that velvet worms can easily dry out, so they are restricted to areas of high humidity, such as in logs, under stones, in the soil, or among leaf litter.

"Despite their apparently gentle appearance, velvet worms are voracious and active carnivores, feasting on other small invertebrates (for example, termites, woodlice and small spiders) that they encounter during their travels."

"...From these antennae a fluid is squirted which is sticky to the touch, this is how they catch their prey. The food becomes tangled within the sticky threads, the velvet worm then bites one hole and sucks the soft tissue out! "

Velvet worms capture their prey by squirting sticky slime from their oral tubes. The slime effectively entangles the prey so it can't escape. The velvet worm bites off parts of the prey then sucks them up after they have been softened by digestive saliva extruded from the velvet worm's mouth. Any undigested portions are excreted by the anus at the rear end of the body. Segmental excretory organs (the nephridia) also remove metabolic wastes. The slime is also squirted in self-defence. An enemy with a face full of slime gives the velvet worm time to escape."

"While the body structure of onychophorans is a very simple one, it works well. It has enabled them to live very successfully on land, largely unchanged in structure, for about 500 million years. They have been described as a missing link between the arthropods (a group that includes insects and spiders) and the annelids, or segmented worms (which includes earthworms and beach worms). It is now known that onychophorans are much more closely related to arthropods than to annelids."

...and more. You get the picture! Weird little creatures. Not too long ago some nice petrified specimens were found dating 425 million years old...seemingly identicle to the ones alive today.

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wow, very informative. where did you get all these information from?

Went to college and bought a book somewhere along the line.... (Biology degree)

But I only remembered about half of this information. The other half I gleaned from the good ol' inner-net with the help of Google.

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Great photos EffeCi

LOL yeah they must need it really humid. I think they would like my vivarium though...provided it was a owland and not a highland species like the ones from NZ apparently are.

It wasn't a habitat humidity issue (critter keeper lid + lack of a rigid body like arthropods).

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